Family Rescued from Their Home’s Roof
By David Keeler
Like dozens of families across the region, Standing Stone residents Joseph Brown, Frances Elliott and their four kids had no idea of how severe flooding would become last week at their home along River Road.
Frances, Joseph and their kids were rescued by boat Wednesday night after they were forced out of their mobile home by rapidly rising water.
“It just came up so fast,” Frances said. “We didn’t expect it. It came right up through our bathroom floor first.” The memory of the harrowing experience brought tears to her eyes. “We had no idea it was going to get this bad so quickly.”
Frances, Joseph, their kids and some visitors at their house were forced to climb onto their roof from their front porch to escape the floodwaters. There was a total of 10 people who took refuge on the roof and remained there for about two hours until help arrived.
Joseph said the water level reached about 25 feet and when the boat arrived they could step right into it. “The water was almost even with the roof,” he said.
“It wasn’t very much fun,” the couple’s daughter Passion, 7, said.
“They tried to save our German Shepherd, Sable, too but we couldn’t get her in the boat and she’s still down there,” Frances said, crying at the memory. “She had one brown eye, the other was brown and white.”
The family escaped the flood with little more than the clothes they were wearing. “Frances had a bag with some money in it, but it slid off the roof and was lost,” Joseph said. “But we got our kids out safely and they’re the most valuable things we have.”
The flood marked the second tragedy for the family. Five years ago their residence was destroyed by fire.
“We just started getting back on our feet and now we have to start all over again,” Frances said.
Joseph, Frances and their kids took shelter at the Wyalusing Fire Hall, where an emergency shelter was set up. Fire Chief Adam Dietz said at one time there were about 60 people staying there. Community volunteers provided food for the flood victims, and cots were provided by the Red Cross. Dietz said the community effort that supported the shelter was “phenomenal.”